Music is an integral part of relaxation-massage sessions, and a new review indicates music therapy can be beneficial to patients before, during and after a surgical procedure. The review also indicates music may reduce pain and recovery time.

The review examined the use of music in the preoperative, intraoperative and postoperative stages of the surgical process, and music was shown to have positive results in all three stages, according to an abstract published on

Patients exposed to music therapy were less anxious before the procedure and recovered more quickly and satisfactorily after by being exposed to music intra- and post-operation. They also required less sedative medication and reported better satisfaction with their medical experience, the press release noted.

“Music therapists have long known that music can be an effective tool to manage pain and anxiety,” said Lori Gooding, University of Kentucky director of music therapy and lead author on the review. “Here at [the university], our music therapists regularly use music-based interventions to help patients manage both pain and anxiety.”

The university began providing music therapy for patients in Kentucky Children’s Hospital, University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital and University of Kentucky Good Samaritan Behavioral Health in October 2010, according to the press release.

Based on the findings from this review, Gooding and her team have begun implementing two pilot programs in the pre-op unit at the university, one for procedural support and pain relief and the other for patient distress.

The review was conducted by investigators at the University of Kentucky and published in Southern Medical Journal.

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